An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten


Lieutenant, 5th (Service) Battalion,
Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
[later called The Green Howards].

Born 9 November 1882,
Died 13 September 1916, aged 33 years.

Buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, Somme,
France, Grave VII.J.6.

He died during the Battle of the Somme. Another Old Coathamian, Captain Thomas Heathcock (q.v.), who died earlier in the four-month-long battle, on 10 July 1916, is commemorated in the same cemetery, in which 1,572 soldiers are buried or commemorated. He is also commemorated on a family grave in Redcar Cemetery.

William Featherstone was the son of John and Mary Ann Featherstone and they lived at Bentinck House, Coatham. His father was a manager with Pease & Co., a noted local iron & steel engineering company. William and his elder brother, John Henry, both attended Coatham Grammar School as fee-paying day boys. William joined the school in March 1894, aged 11, and remained there for 14 terms, leaving in December 1898 aged 16. His father died the following year, 1899, and his mother in 1900. His occupation on leaving school is not known. By 1911, however, he was a clerk at a local pig iron works, had been married for two years to Maria Eleanor Campbell Featherstone (‘Ella’), then aged 23, from Norton, and they had an eight-month-old daughter, Dorothy. Their home was at 56, Newcomen Terrace, Redcar at the time of his death.